At the beginning of the Patriotic War of 1812 the staff of the newly established museum in the Kremlin assumed the responsibility for the preservation and evacuation of the museum's precious collections — tsars' treasuries, historical artifacts and state relics — and they honourably performed their duties to their service and country. In the time of the Napoleon's invasion of Russia a lot of objects of the cultural heritage have been damaged, ruined, lost or relocated. The activities of our predecessors aimed to protect and preserve the museum collections make us proud of being their followers. The State Armoury Chamber was initiated as a national-historical museum and the possible loss or damage of its valuable treasures could have become a real tragedy for the country.

In the early 1812 the fund's assets were being prepared for the transfer to the new Armoury building. The museum's interior furnishing, verification of the museum's inventory list and restoration works on the items have been almost completed when suddenly the war began.

The Emperor Alexander I arrived to Moscow to arrange an official meeting on the 11th of July and discuss the problem of the Napoleon's army approaching to the city. Coordination of the further evacuation activities, including the evacuation of all the city administrators and officials, was to be accomplished under the supervision of the governor of Moscow, count F. Rostopchin, who was responsible for the defence of the city against Napoleon. The arrival of the Emperor encouraged the people greatly — many of the Muscovites announced their intention to join the Moscow people's volunteer corps. The Actual State Councilor, retired colonel, I.P. Polivanov was refused to leave the museum and join this voluntary association as the supervisor of the Kremlin Armoury and Artisans' Chambers P. Valuev had such a high opinion of his abilities that he preferred him staying in the city for the needs of the museum.

Together with I. Polivanov, P. Valuev aimed their efforts at the common cause – a successful evacuation of the Kremlin treasury in 1812 — and managed to take the museum collection out of the city and keep it safe. Every member of the museum's staff was involved in the preparation and packaging of the collection for transportation. On the 22th of August, in the evening, the string of carts comprising 150 units left the Kremlin under the guard of the representatives of the 19th invalid company of the colonel Shiryaev.

By land they have been travelling to the city of Kolomna, where precious goods were to be transferred to large barges. Then the Museum's relics and employers were shipped to Nizhny Novgorod to find secure place for storage and housing accommodation already prepared and furnished.

In December 1812 the Armoury collection was transferred to the city of Vladimir, and later, after a church service had been held, the train proceeded to Moscow. The collection was returned to the Kremlin on the 16th of June and placed on the ground floor of the new Armoury building. The sorting-out of items has begun. According to the results of the examination and official reports of I. Polivanov all the packages and cases bearing stamps remained unspoiled, still some of the items turned out to have been damaged during the transportation.

 
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